Americas RCAPA Regulation

Ted Wierzbanowski of AeroVironment appointed chair, ASTM F38 committee

A new chair for the committee shaping standards for UAS flight in the USA.

Ted Wierzbanowski is a retired USAF Colonel and an experimental test pilot. He has been deeply involved in advanced aircraft development since the early 80s when he was the first Air Force test pilot/project manager for the X-29 program. During that time he also was the fighter branch chief at the Air Force Flight Test Center and helped create and then manage a new organization at Edwards AFB responsible for all one-of-a-kind and research aircraft programs including X-29, F-15 STOL/MTD, X-31, F-16 VISTA, F-18 HARV, AFTI-16, and AFTI-111.

After leaving the X-29 program Ted moved on to the X-30/NASP program where he served in many senior level positions over a period of 7 years. After the X-30/NASP program was cancelled he retired from the Air Force and went to work at AeroVironment where has since managed many advanced technology electric vehicle, distributed energy, and unmanned air vehicle programs.

He is now AeroVironmentÕs Managing Director and is also responsible for the Helios UAV military and commercial operations development.

Ted had so much fun doing all of this his three sons decided they wanted to do the same so they all went to the Air Force Academy and eventually became pilots. The oldest, Scott, is an F-16 test pilot at Eglin AFB, Florida. Jason, the middle one, is a B-1 pilot at Dyess AFB, Texas. Ryan, the youngest, is an F-16 fighter pilot currently assigned to Eielson AFB, Alaska.

Ted graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1968 and also has a M.S. in Systems Management from USC. He is a graduate of both the USAF Test Pilot School and the Defense Systems Management College.


The ASTM F38 from their site

This Committee addresses issues related to design, performance, quality acceptance tests, and safety monitoring for unmanned air vehicle systems. Stakeholders include manufacturers of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their components, federal agencies, design professionals, professional societies, maintenance professionals, trade associations, financial organizations, and academia. Over 180 members are involved in this multinational initiative; all participating actively within a three-tiered subcommittee structure focusing on airworthiness, flight operations, and operator qualifications.

Committee F38 meets twice a year, usually in May and November, with approximately 50 members attending three days of technical meetings. The Committee currently has jurisdiction of over 2 standards, published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Volume 15.07. Information on F38’s subcommittee structure and portfolio of approved standards and Work Items under construction are available from the List of Subcommittees, Standards and Work Items below. These standards have and continue to play a preeminent role in all aspects important to the UAS industry.


To the Members of ASTM F38,

The purpose of this message is to bid farewell as the outgoing Chair of the Committee and welcome Ted Wierzbanowski, as your new Chair.

I have been with F38 since 2004, about a year after it was first formed by a small group of legendary contributors to the UAS community, one of which is no longer with us – Laurence “Nuke” Newcome. That original group imagined the future we have in front of us now – the regulated introduction of unmanned aircraft in civil airspace for the purpose of compensation and hire. Said another way, they foresaw the opportunities we now have to create a whole new economy around a revolutionary technology with societal benefits to saving lives, creating jobs and improving the environment.

This is no longer a fantasy. We can read an article a week which highlights how an unmanned aircraft is helping track the path of life threatening forest fires, or a leased flight services company is hiring a team of operators to fly an agricultural survey mission or a scientist is flying a new sensor over the ocean to track algae blooms. And I for one am at once humbled and proud to be playing a small part.

And if you look around F38, you will find that many of our members are the very ones performing the missions I just mentioned. More importantly, they have generously devoted their time and intellect to put their collective knowledge in writing in the form of consensus standards, in order to share with the worldwide UAS community. And for this I want to say thank you. I am in awe of your dedication to this once-in-a-generational contribution.

I started in 2004 as a Task Group leader on a new standard. Over the course of the next seven years, I served as a sub-committee chair, the Membership Secretary, the Vice Chair and finally Chair. I mention this because Ted and the rest of the 2012-2013 elected officers need others to fill these very same roles. While I have always appreciated the contributions of individual members during the balloting process, the Committee also needs to fill the various leadership positions sprinkled throughout the organization in order to be successful in achieving our stated goals – routine, safe, commercial UAS flight operations in civil airspace.

So please welcome Ted, Phil Kenul the new Vice Chair, returning Recording Secretary Kris Ellis and our new Membership Secretary Kyle Snyder. They need your help, your contributions and your leadership so that we can all succeed.
Thank you for your support during my time as Chair and I look forward to seeing even greater achievements in the years to come.
Very Best Regards,

Jeff Goldfinger

Chair, ASTM Committee F38, 2010 – 2011

This one is worth discussing on LinkedIn


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